Hitching Post is run by Frank Ostini, whose family ran the original Hitching Post from 1952, and Gray Hartley, a former commercial fisherman. Back when they started in 1979, they had but one barrel produced in their garage. Later on they made the wines at the Au Bon Climat/Qupe winery, and now the wines are produced in Buellton just around the corner from the Hitching Post restaurant (yes, the one in 'Sideways'). At the heart of Hitching Post is a focus on Pinot Noir from vineyards in Santa Barbara County, specifically Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Los Alomos. These are traditional wines, aged in French Oak, bottled unfiltered, redolent in vibrant fruit with an intense vein of spice and earthiness but always with balancing fresh acidity.
Hitching Post Quinta Del Mar Pinot Noir 2016
Quinta del Mar is a new vineyard to the range, first made in 2012. It is near Nipomo, just north of Santa Maria, and enjoys a mild ocean influenced climate similar to the finest sites in Santa Barbara. This is their first time working with grower, Alex McCullough, who is focused on high quality farming and the quality and potential of these young vines is very exciting. A good crop was easy to ripen in a bountiful and quality vintage with ideal harvest condition and all fruit came in under perfect conditions. Great intensity and acidity. At first the aromas are closed, and slowly open to show raspberry, blood orange, and spice. A bit angular at present, it gains roundness with air, and will continue to grow as a more complete expression of Pinot Noir as it ages in bottle. Buy some extra and enjoy this over the next five years.